Great Britain

Families of British nationals failed by government tell Boris "we are still here"

RELATIVES of loved ones failed by the British government gathered outside Downing Street for a carol-singing vigil tonight to remind the PM that not “everyone is with their families this Christmas.”

The event has been held for the past four years, organised by Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was imprisoned in Iran in 2016.

This year, Mr Ratcliffe was joined by the relatives of British nationals who have also lived through or continue to face human rights violations abroad.

They are part of the campaign the British Rights Abroad Group, which is seeking to push through a new law requiring the government to protect its citizens overseas.

Sherry Izadi, whose husband Anousheh Ashoori, an Iranian-British dual national sentenced to 12 years in the same prison as Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, joined tonight’s event.

She told the Star of her frustration at the government’s lack of action to secure her husband’s release.

“You’d be amazed by how little they do,” she said. “How little support there is. It’s almost as if they don’t do anything unless they are forced to and even when they are forced to as in our case they haven’t done very much.”

She hoped that the vigil would “focus public attention on my husband and Nazanin and other dual nationals who have been failed by the British government so maybe this law will somehow be passed.”

This year Mr Ratcliffe was joined by his daughter Gabriella who had been living in Iran with her grandparents since her mother’s arrest.